American Horror Story: Asylum (2012 - 2013)


American Horror Story

Critics Consensus

American Horror Story: Asylum crosses boundaries to shock and scare with sexy subplots and some innovative takes on current social issues.



Critic Ratings: 44


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2041
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Air date: Oct 17, 2012
Air date: Oct 24, 2012
Air date: Oct 31, 2012
Air date: Nov 7, 2012
Air date: Nov 14, 2012
Air date: Nov 21, 2012
Air date: Nov 28, 2012
Air date: Dec 5, 2012
Air date: Dec 12, 2012
Air date: Jan 2, 2013
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American Horror Story: Asylum Photos

Tv Season Info

The horror unfolds within the confines of an eerie insane asylum in the second series of this acclaimed thriller. Set in 1964 (with jumps to present day), the "Asylum" series digs into the dark pasts of the hospital's patients, doctors and administrators. Jessica Lange returns to the series as Sister Jude, a troubled nun who quickly finds herself at odds with the twisted Arthur Arden (James Cromwell), a doctor with a penchant for experimental procedures. Zachary Quinto is also back as Dr. Oliver Thredson, a psychiatrist, while Sarah Paulson plays journalist Lana Winters in her return. Other familiar faces include Evan Peters and Lily Rabe, while newcomers Lizzie Brocheré, Chloe Sevigny and Joseph Fiennes provide welcome additions to the talented cast.


Jessica Lange
as Sister Jude
Sarah Paulson
as Lana Winters
Evan Peters
as Kit Walker
Lily Rabe
as Sister Mary Eunice
Zachary Quinto
as Dr. Oliver Thredson
James Cromwell
as Dr. Arthur Arden
Joseph Fiennes
as Monsignor Timothy Howard
Fredric Lehne
as Frank McGuire
Mark Margolis
as Sam Goodman
Barbara Tarbuck
as Mother Superior Claudia
Ian McShane
as Leigh Emerson
Joel McKinnon Miller
as Detective Miller
Franka Potente
as Kassie Morgan
Jennifer Holland
as Nurse Blackwell
Amy Farrington
as Mrs. Reynolds
David Chisum
as Jim Brown
Nikki Hahn
as Jenny Reynolds
Bob Bancroft
as Administrator Kirkland
Chris McGarry
as Martin Lancaster
Mary-Pat Green
as Nurse Hicks
Cyd Strittmatter
as Nurse Braxton
Lara Harris
as Rhonda Lancaster
Eugene Byrd
as Detective Perko
Debra Christofferson
as Patricia Stone
David Gianopoulos
as Detective Grayson
Tehya Scarth
as Susie Lancaster
Lily Knight
as Sister Felicity
John Pleshette
as Magistrate
Kasey Mahaffy
as Father James
Don Stark
as Joe Engle
Erin Allin O'Reilly
as Nurse Fuller
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News & Interviews for American Horror Story: Asylum

Critic Reviews for American Horror Story Asylum

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (18)

It's a solid setup. And given the writers were tasked with coming up with a completely new storyline for an established hit, the foundation seems well laid and primed with numerous avenues to explore.

Oct 18, 2012 | Full Review…

Like a good scare? How about a bad scare? Or a thousand scares, good and bad and crazy? Season 2 of American Horror Story, subtitled Asylum, is for you.

Oct 17, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Less scary than freaky, it's deliberately unhinged-light horror about low camp, a showcase for scenery chewing and giddy blasphemy, an exploitation chamber piece.

Oct 17, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Camp, not horror, is the soul and motivating force of AHS, and if you don't delight in the fate that befalls Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine in the season premiere, you are not resonating at AHS's frequency.

Oct 17, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The first AHS rose above some of its twisted storytelling. Asylum simply keeps sinking -- from one depth to another.

Oct 17, 2012 | Rating: D | Full Review…
Top Critic

One final warning before you plunge in: AHS: Asylum crosses a line for television (which is getting harder and harder to do). It goes beyond dark all the way to clerical black, the scourge of all light.

Oct 17, 2012 | Full Review…

The season as a whole was so smooth and so terrifying that it's probably the only one I will continue to go back to and watch.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

American Horror Story: Asylum is filled with plenty of dark secrets, sinister twists, and unexpected turns - but unfortunately the one thing this psychologically invading season lacks is thoughtful explanation.

Nov 4, 2013 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

The show grabs you, shocks you and keeps you guessing. The only question left unanswered at season's end is "Will Season 3 be half as good?"

Oct 10, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Right out of the gate, the show's second season, Asylum, established itself as something darker, weirder and more ambitious.

Oct 9, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for American Horror Story: Asylum

  • 2d ago
    Without s doubt best season
  • Aug 13, 2019
    Everything anyone could want in an AHS season. This asylum is scary, twisted, and strange in all the best ways possible. Jessica Lange is terrific, as are all the cast involved. Bloody Face is truly frightening in this season also. 5/5
  • Aug 10, 2019
    This is my favorite season of the entire show so far.
  • Aug 03, 2019
    The best season, so far
  • Jun 18, 2019
    Asylum takes features and plot devices from the first season, and develops them into something much darker and more harrowing, and whilst there were still supernatural elements, the generally more realistic overtones make this far more haunting, and at times plain disturbing, which is exactly what I expect from a horror story set in a mental asylum in the 1960s. Jessica Lange and Evan Peters are both absolutely sensational, but for me Lily Rabe steals the show with her depiction of multiple personalities within the same body, making a clear distinction between the innocent and submissive Sister Mary Eunice, and the chaotic, devious embodiment of Satan himself. The real villain in all of this though is Dr Arden, portrayed masterfully by James Cromwell, disturbingly sinister with hints of pure insanity, Arden is a simply abhorrent, repulsive and evil man, and Cromwell was well deserving of his Emmy award for the role.
  • Mar 12, 2019
    Easily the best season of this amazing show
  • Mar 09, 2019
    Stylish, campy, twisted, and creepy is the second season of AHS. Jessica Lange is once again a queen. Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Lily Rabe are excellent. It may have lost a bit of it���s shocking edge as you���re more prepared for it, but still a binge-worthy good time.
  • Feb 23, 2019
    Good show that ranges from thrilling to mystery. Has a lot going that seemed to be really promising at the middle, but tapered off at the end when they had to figure out a way to end the show. All the interesting plotlines ended in a satisfying but unthrilling way.
  • Jan 31, 2019
    Good Maintenance of twists and turns. But there were unnecessary stories that somehow would make sense even if removed.
  • Jan 24, 2019
    Season 2 of the anthology series cranks the story elements to an 11 on all fronts: Great horror, acting, plot and cinematography.

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